BREAKING: MDHHS Identifies First Michigan Case of New Coronavirus Strain
The MDHHS has identified the first Michigan case of the new COVID-19 variant in Washtenaw County.
They say the person had recently traveled to the United Kingdom, where the new strain was originally discovered.
The MDHHS says the new strain is believed to be more contagious, but “there has been no indication that it affects clinical outcomes or disease severity compared to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has been circulating across the United States for months.”
Additionally, a higher rate of transmission could increase the number of people who need to be hospitalized or lose their lives to the virus.
The MDHHS says to date, the new strain has been identified in 16 other states but this case is the only one in Michigan at this time.
However, it is possible that there are more unidentified cases.
“The discovery of this variant in Michigan is concerning but not unexpected,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for Health at MDHHS. “We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 and end this pandemic as quickly as possible. We continue to urge Michiganders to follow a research-based approach by wearing their masks properly, socially distancing, avoiding crowds, washing their hands often, and making a plan to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine once it is their turn.”
The MDHHS says current tests and vaccines for the coronavirus will also work against the new strain.
They say protective actions such as getting vaccinated for the coronavirus, wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands and ventilating indoor spaces can help to prevent the spread of the new variant.